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    Ask This About 2016 HIV Treatments

    The FDA has just approved some promising new HIV treatments for 2016. When it comes to treatment, patients with HIV are usually given a type of drugs called antiretroviral drugs. Patients on antiretroviral therapy or ART may use as much as 3 or more medications from different classes when starting out. These medications are taken daily to control HIV and help patients live longer, healthier lives. While ART cannot cure HIV, these antiretroviral medications come close and are continuously improving thanks to new research and the development of new treatments. Breakthroughs in research and developments have led to the FDAs newly approved HIV treatments for 2016. If you have HIV or know someone with HIV, here are some questions to ask about 2016 HIV treatments.

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    How safe are new medications?
    New medications approved by the FDA are completely safe. While they are are newly available to the public, it's important to remember that these medications have gone through years of research and testing.
    What's new this year?
    This year has brought a number of new medications which combine proven medications of before. These combination medications are composed of one or more drug classes in order to create a more effective HIV treatment.
    What are NRTIs and NNRTIs?
    NRTIs are Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors block the reverse transcriptase, an enzyme that allows HIV to copy itself. Non-Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors can bind to and alter transcriptase thereby controlling the HIV viruses ability to replicate in the body.
    What is a Pharmacokinetic enhancer?
    Pharmacokinetic enhancers like Tybost are used during the course of HIV treatment along with nother medications, to improve the effectiveness of those medications.
    What do new HIV treatments of 2016 contain?
    New HIV treatments may contain a combination of medications you may or may not have tried previously. Genvoya, a new HIV treatment contains 150 mg of elvitegravir, 200 mg of emtricitabine, 150 mg of cobicistat and 10 mg of tenofovir alafenamide fumarate. These combinations have been tested for effectiveness and safety leading to FDA approval.
    What are PIs?
    PIs are Protease Inhibitors that can also decrease the amount of HIV in the blood by preventing the spreading and transmission of HIV. Prezista and Reyataz are two PI medications newly approved by the FDA.
    What kind of side effects are there?
    With new medications comes a wave of new side effects. Medications like Prezcobix come with possible liver damage, or may at the very least produce side effects like skin rash, vomiting, headache and diarrhea. Talk to your doctor about the side effects associated with new medications and together you may weigh the risks and benefits.
    What are Integrase Inhibitors?
    Integrase Inhibitors like NRTIs and PIs also inhibit vital enzymes that are important to HIV replication. This makes them invaluable to patients suffering from HIV. An example of one of these medications is Vitekta.